Accident in Chicago

National Transportation Safety Board and FAA officials from Washington are on their way to Chicago to investigate a plane that slid through a fence in Chicago’s Midway Airport onto a road. A 6 year old boy died and at least 10 people were injured.

The airport area had 7 inches of snow, but Aviation Department spokeswoman Wendy Abrams said runway conditions at the time were acceptable.

James Burnett, a former NTSB chairman, said the weather would be a focus of the investigation: “When you’re looking at a runway overrun, it almost always involves a runway condition that’s improper,” Burnett told WFLD-TV. “But that’s not the only thing.”

Filed Under: Airlines + flying

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  1. Someone who cares says:

    It is a shame that an airport and an airline are more worried about making deadlines and money that the life of a precious child.The airport should have been closed! Midway and Southwest, You suck!!!!!!

  2. Someone trying to be fair says:

    I gather “Someone who cares” is on the other side of the international date line or is prescient in order to post a comment dated tomorrow, so I am wondering what the basis of his/her comment is? Something we haven’t heard about the accident yet perhaps?

    Anyway, accidents happen. I’m sure neither the airline or the airport authority intended for it to happen. 90% of all airline accidents happen during either takeoff or landing because that is the most dangerous phase of flight and the most unforgiving of errors or misjudgment. Flying a heavier-than-air piece of machinery is not a risk free endeavor even in the best of weather. If you wish to make it so, you best stay on the ground.

    The fact that this is the first fatality in the 35 year history of Southwest Airlines ought to count for something. The only airline with a better safety record might be Quantas – perhaps the carrier of choice by “Someone who cares”.

  3. someone trying to be fair says:

    Just observed the posting time of my own comment and note that it is off by + 1 day and +17 hours, 12 min from actual local time, so gather this blog time base is totally inaccurate.

  4. Some one who actually knows says:

    I would recommend anyone who says that Midway should have been closed should have a clue about the airport and the airlines that service it. Because you are saying that the airlines should abandon the thousands of people who needed to fly out that day and that those who themselves were flying out, to go home finally, or to a funeral or a wedding or to visit loved ones, or, heaven forbid, needed to fly out to make some money during our nation’s financial low point……they should all stay stranded in Chicago because a boy lost his life. Yes, it was a sad occasion, but if this is our reasoning, then no one should be on the roads in rememberance of each person who has died as a result of a car accident, which means we’ll all be staying home for the rest of our natual lives. I hope you can survive that way. In the mean time, I’ll be back at the airport living my life, thanks.

  5. steve says:

    The accident that took place is most unfortunate. A small child has died. That being said, it is worth noting that Midway Airport, the “postage stamp airport” as it is referred to by pilots who fly in and out of it has been miraculously safe for the past 35 years.

    This airport is situated within 1 square mile on the densly populated southwest side of Chicago. The airplane noise around the airport has been deemed too loud for the FAA to fund Residential Sound Insulation because the homes in the immediate area are within an area that they deem “Non-compatible land use” in an area where the db level is in excess of 85 dnl. The political situation is such that the thousands of residents around the airport cannot be displaced to create the needed safe buffer zone that is needed.

    Fortunately, there are only 2 active commercial runways so snow removal can be done rather efficiently. I believe the amount of snow at the end of the runway and a prevailing tail wind caused the accident when the plane couldn’t land in the shortest space. This is one of many airports throughout the US that have long outlived their effective usefulness and should be either closed or turned over to general aviation or be used as a server of smaller Regional Jets. The current fleet of planes flying into and out of Midway are pushing the safety envelope too far.

  6. James Trotta says:

    I appreciate the comments everyone. I suppose we have to trust that the official investigations will teach us something about how to prevent as many of these types of tragedies as possible.

    As for closing airports, that’s always a disaster (of a different and less important sort). I remember trying to fly out of JFK during that big power outage a few years ago…

  7. Don Kuzminski says:

    90% of airline accidents happen during bad weather(rain,snow,windy,and lightning) conditions.

  8. Amber says:

    I know that pilot did not mean to kill that 6 year old little boy nor did he mean to go off the runway, accidents happen, and as far as the airport and everything closing down thats just unheard of. Don’t get me wrong i feel bad for that little boy, and his family, and who ever else got hurt, but it wasn’t done intentionally.

  9. mel says:

    Yes it is sad that a child lost his life. But let us remember that neither Southwest Air nor the Airport nor anyone traveling had anything to do with this. This falls to the people responsible for cleaning the runway of snow and Ice. They gave the go ahead and stated that the runway was clear. I work at an airport about the same size as midway. the tower won’t land any plane unless the people removing snow says its clear.

  10. JENNIE says:

    THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS AN “ACCIDENT”. BE THAT AS IT MAY, “ACCIDENTS” ARE CAUSED BY NEGLIGENCE.

  11. Sharon says:

    Jennie, OK. So I’m driving down the road and a deer runs out in front of me. I cannot avoid it and hit it. It flies up over my hood and smashes my windshield, obstructing my view. I swerve off the road and into a ravine. The deer is dead; I am injured; mr car wrecked. This actually happened. Who was negligent? The deer? I think not. IT WAS AN ACCIDENT!!! You’re totally illogical in your statement. I suppose everything is a conspiracy theory in your eyes, right?

  12. JENNIE says:

    SHARON, ACTUALLY, YOU WERE NEGLIGENT. YOU SHOULD’VE BEEN AWARE OF THE POSSIBILITIES OF DEER BEING PRESENT. THEREFORE, FAILING TO KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR VEHICLE WAS NEGLIGENT ON YOUR PART. I AM GLAD TO HEAR YOU ARE O.K. I BET YOU ARE MORE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS & WILL PREVENT YOUR “ACCIDENT” FROM HAPPENING AGAIN.

  13. merlebleu says:

    I think that what really is sad though is the first person who spoke on behalf of the family was not the family itself, but the family’s lawyer.

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